The ship was about the size of a large tour bus. It was gray and white made of smooth sleek lines and strange alien metal. On the side in some sort of paint or different colored metal was the ships name. It was docked, laying on it's belly with its doors open. Some young people, mostly men and a few women were wandering up and into the ship in small groups of twos and threes. They all wore the same thing, light gray uniforms consisting of loose fitting pants, a form fitting shirt and and zip up jacket with slim black boots. They were uniformly tall and well muscled under their uniforms. The groups boarded the ship somberly, talking little. They all looked nervous and so very young, maybe sixteen or seventeen at the most.
Once the last of the teens had boarded the ship the door closed behind him and seal itself off. There was a few minutes of stillness before the ship began to rise. It wasn't flying. The docking platform was raising it out of horizontal position and into a vertical position. The ship's nose rose until it wad pointing at the sky then, seemingly without warning the ship fired up. Heat and smoke poured from under the tail end and lifted the small rocket off the docking platform and into the air. It rose with increasing speed up towards the clouds before disappearing out of sight.
Nagisa shielded his eyes from sun as he watched the spacecraft for a long as he could. With a wide grin on his face he imagined the ship cutting through the last layers of the air and entering space. He thought about how cool it would be to leave Earth and see the moon like the S.T.A.R academy students. He had even thought about signing up for the academy's training program but he hadn't in the end. He didn't want to leave his friends. But every once in a while Nagisa liked to sit on the grass hill that overlooked the launching field and watch the shuttles take off from the coast. There he would imagine what it would be like to go into space as he watched the young space cadets his own age board the crafts and leave Earth.
After the rocket's plume of smoke began to fade away in the afternoon sun, the blonde got up and dusted off his bottom with his hands. He looked once more at the base before grabbing his bag and starting off up the hill. He walked slowly, thinking to himself. He had tests coming up and summer vacation was just around the corner. Hopefully Rei-chan would let him stay over during the vacation. Nagisa was so lost in his own thoughts that he failed to see the other person in his way until he had smashed into him.
Nagisa stumbled back and almost went tumbling back down the hill when a strong hand caught his arm and pulled him forward. He landed with his head on someone's chest with an arm wrapped around his shoulders. For a moment he just stood there and let the adrenaline of the situation fade, as well as enjoy the firm embrace of the stranger.
“Are you okay?” the stranger asked.
Nagisa looked up to see the face of the stranger. He was handsome. Blonde and blue eyed, the stranger had strong features and a easy smile. He looked friendly and open. Hsi yellow hair waved to almost a curl on his head the same way Nagisa's hair did. They almost looked similar, in that respect. Nagisa found himself smiling back as he shrank out of the embrace.
“Um … Yea. I'm fine!”
“Good. You could have hurt yourself if you'd fallen backwards.”
“I wasn't paying attention!” Nagisa insisted. He smiled and bowed quickly. “Again, sorry. And thanks.”
“It was nothing,” the stranger said as he tugged on his jacket.
It was then Nagisa noticed the stranger's attire. He wore the same outfit as the recruits that had just gotten on the ship but all in black and with patches showing rank across his arm. Nagisa's mouth dropped open as he looked over the man.
“Wow! You're with Starmy?”
The stranger blinked and looked down at himself before smiling. “Yea! I am. I guard the cargo!”
“The cargo?” Nagisa asked.
“It's top secret! I can' talk about it.”
The stranger smiled and stuck a hand out. “I'm Florian.”
“Hi!” Florian shifted and looked out onto the airfield. “I have some time before I leave, Nagisa. Would you like to get a snack with me?”
Nagisa gasped as he looked at the man. “Really? Honestly?”
“Sure.” Florian took Nagisa's arm and began to lead him away. “I found a place that makes wonderful cupcakes.”
“Cupcake? You mean that French place.”
“Yea. It is French. The cupcakes are good. Not as good as mine, but still good.”
“Sure I do. I bake and make all kinds of things especially for Benedict.”
Benedict wiped grease off his hands and looked over his shoulder wearily. He could barely hold back the sigh that threatened to escape him. Whenever he and Edmund spoke lately they were fighting. It was worse that usual. Things had gotten steadily worse ever since the Tenatron incident. They would go days without speaking or looking at one another only to fight when they did speak. If Edmund was calling him, he was probably about to be pissed off.
“What is it, Edmund?” he asked as he eyed the man.
“Do you know where the robot is?”
Benedict sighed. He hardly the energy to correct the man at this point, but he did so anyway. “Florian. And no. I thought he was with you.”
“He was,” Edmund said as he looked over Benedict's work on his jet-bike. “But I wandered off while I was a talking to someone. I though he came back here.”
“Well he didn't,” Benedict asserted. “But I wouldn't worry. How much trouble can he get into in a few hours?”
“Plenty,” Edmund insisted but seemed to let the matter drop. He stood looking over Benedict's work silently until Benedict got sick of him standing there.
“Do you need anything else?” the raven haired man asked.
Edmund looked at him without speaking for a moment before looking away again. “Are we ever going to talk about it?”
“... The whole Tentatron thing ...”
“ … Oh. You … wanna talk about that?” Benedict stared at the other man, face heating up a bit.
“So How long have you been a part of Starmy?” Nagisa asked. He was sitting in a booth across from Florian and playing with the straw to his iced tea. Florian was watching him with a small smile that made him a little nervous and sipping on an iced tea of his own. Between them was a giant pink cupcake and two forks. The confection had three types of icing on it and sprinkles. Florian had insisted on it and since he was paying Nagisa did have the heart to object. It stood between them like mountain it top jagged from the places they began to it. The inner cream filling spilled out in some places. Nagisa liked the cream better then the frosting.
“For a few months,” Florian said. “I joined to be closer to Benedict.”
Nagisa looked up from the cupcake and into Florian's deep blue eyes. “Benedict huh? Who is he? You keep bringing him up.”
“Benedict's my boyfriend!” Florian said with a smile.
Flushing, Nagisa looked around to see if anyone had heard that. When he was satisfied that no one had he turned back to Florian. “I … I see. I had heard things like that were considered normal in Starmy, but I never guessed … Well. That's good, I guess. It's n ice to be close to someone you love.”
“And Rei-chan,” Florian went on. “He's your boyfriend, right?”
The smaller blonde flushed badly this time put up his hands in defense. “What? No, no, no! Rei-chan and I are just … friends! And we're on the same swim team. That's all. We're not-”
“But you talk about him all the time!” Florian chirped. “And you blush when you talk about him. Don't you like him?”
“W-w-well. I guess you could say ...” Nagisa took a sip of his iced tea to give himself time to calm down then sighed. “I suppose you're right,” he said in a low voice. “I do like Rei-chan. But the thing is, I don't know if he likes me.”
Nagisa looked up and stared at the taller blonde. “What?”
“Dress up for him! If he likes it, he'll tell you and you'll know.”
“But … I mean … Do things like that really work?”
“Definiately! I'll take you shopping. We'll pick out something nice and Rei-chan will confess his love.” The taller man flashed a huge grin that Nagisa couldn't help but return.
The rest of the pink cupcake and two more glasses of tea later, the two began their shopping trip at a costume shop. Nagisa actually highly doubted that they would find anything there and even told Florian as much but the taller blonde simply reassured him with a sparkling smile and began picking out outfits.
“Florian,” Nagisa muttered from behind the curtain. “I … I can't wear this. Especially not in front of Rei-chan.”
“Why?” Florian asked as peeked inside the dressing room. “I think it's cute.” With quick movements he slipped behind the thick curtain and took a look at Nagisa in his outfit.
The costume was a pair of shorts covered by a piece of pleaded fabric with a tank top, cat ears and a cat tail. Finishing off the look were glove and boots in the shape of cat paws. Nagisa tugged on the pleaded fabric self-consciously and glanced at Florian.
“Florian. It looks like I'm wearing a skirt.”
“I think it is a skirt,” the taller blonde responded. He lifted part of the fabric with his fingers only to have Nagisa shift away and place his hands down on the skirt.
“Please don't do that,” Nagisa muttered, his face bright red.
“Okay. Look. We'll find something else.”
“Hm?” Haruka was laying face up in the pool, letting the water gently carry him. He was content to lay there in the water's arms and do nothing when Rei interrupted him.
“Haruka-senpai. Have you seen Nagisa today?”
“Oh. Have you heard from him today?”
“Oh. I see.” Rei looked down into the pool. At the moment he was in his swimsuit. He had been planning on getting in some practice that day but thoughts of Nagisa had been bothering him and made it hard to swim. After failing to improve his butterfly for forty minutes he had climbed out of the pool and sat on the side. But even then, he couldn't concentrate.
“He said he was going to watch the ships take off.”
Rei glanced back in the pool. Haruka was drifting towards him, propelled by tiny flicks of his feet. “What?” he asked.
“Nagisa,” Haruka went on. “Yesterday he said he was going to the harbor to watch the starships take off.”
“Oh? Well yes, that sounds like him. He is fascinated with the S.T.A.R. Academy. Sometimes I think he'll enroll in the training program.”
“He probably wouldn't want to leave us,” Haruka offered as he reached him.
Rei smiled a little and nodded. “Yea. I guess not.”
For a moment there was silence as Rei let himself get lost in his own thoughts. He considered Nagisa for a moment, considered his personality and his ways of doing things. He remembered his smile and the feel of his arms around him one of the many times that the younger teen had hugged him. Finally he spoke again from far away.
“Nagisa … really wouldn't want to leave his friends behind,” he said idly. Rei stared into the water for a moment. He felt rather than saw Haruka lift himself out of the pool and perch on the side. A few droplets of water hit his arm as Haruke shook out his hair but Rei ignore them and continued to stare into the water.
“Rei.” Haruka said softly. “Do you like Nagisa?”
Rei turned to look at the other teen and tried to keep any emotion off his face. He failed miserably and ended making a strange face instead. “L-like Nagisa? Why do ask?”
“I don't know. I just thought you did.”
“Oh. Well. That's -”
“I would be okay. If you did like Nagisa, I mean. You can do whatever you want. You're … free to do whatever you want.”
Rei stared at the Haruka for a while. The sun glinted off the water's surface as the two males sat there. Finally, Rei spoke.
“Thank you, Haruka-senpai.” he said.
Haruka only glanced over and gave a small smile.
“You look great.”
Florian circled Nagisa looked him up and down. The teen wore a slim suit with cropped pants, a vest and a bow tie. The suit was sky blue, the short sleeve button up shirt, cream white. Nagisa wore no jacket. The bow tie was a deep sapphire. Florian smiled as he looked at it.
“Do you really think this is okay?” Nagisa asked as he looked down at himself. He wasn't sure if he liked the suit, especially because the pants only came to his mid-calf leaving his lower legs and feet bare. He didn't think suits had pants so short.
“You look nice. I have a suit just like this.”
Nagisa looked up at the taller blonde and raise a eyebrow. “You have a suit like this?” he asked.
“Of course!” Florian responded. “That's how I know it will work.”
Nagisa smiled but said nothing. He just glanced at himself in the mirror again.
“Now that you're dressed, we have to figure out what you're going to do.”
“Yea. So what does Rei like?”
Nagisa frowned and thought. “Like? He likes a lot.”
“Then you can start with a something simple, like ...” The taller blonde leaned in a whispered something in Nagisa’s ear.
“What?!” Nagisa backed up and blushed. “What did you just say?”
Florian smiled and gave the smaller blonde a thumbs up. “Trust me,” he said.
“You're wearing a suit?”
Rei stepped aside to allow Nagisa to entered the apartment. The blonde was wearing his new suit. Nagisa stepped out of his shoes wiggled his bare toes on the carpet. “Do you like it?” he asked as he stared down at his own feet.
“Yea.” Rei looked over the other teen. He took in the way the suit folded around Nagisa's form, the way it tucked around his muscles in the most form fitting way. He smiled a little and nodded. “It suits you, somehow.”
“Thank you,” Nagisa said.
The two teens moved farther inside the apartment and settled on Rei's bed together. Nagisa set his bag aside and politely declined Rei's offer of a snack. With a shy smile he edged closer to the other teen.
“Yea?” Rei resisted the urge to back up but instead held his ground and looked into Nagisa's eyes.
“Do you like me?” Nagisa hoped he wasn't blushing but he hoped he wasn't wrong about how Rei felt about him even more. If he was wrong, he could be risking their friendship, not to mention the team spirit of the swim team.
But the blue haired teen blushed and nodded. “Yes,” he said softly. “I like you.”
Nodding, Nagisa leaned forward and tentatively placed his lips over Rei's. He was being calmer than he felt. In his heart he was shouting, screaming, sighing in relief. But outwardly he acted as if he expected the answer and simply kissed the other male.
The kiss was soft and sweet at the start. Both teens leaned into it only a little at a time, hesitantly adding more pressure, more passion. A warmth spread over them, pulling them closer to together. Nagisa found himself nearly climbing into Rei's lap. His tentative fingers grasped at the taller male's shirt, fingering the buttons lightly. Rei's arm came up to wrap around Nagisa's waist, locking him in place and pulling him ever closer. Nagisa shifted and opened his mouth, allowing Rei to press forward and deepen the kiss. The blue haired teen hummed as he tasted the blonde's mouth for the first time. It was sweet and tasted rather like soda.
Closing his mouth and pulling away Rei smiled. He looked at Nagisa for a moment, really looked at him, took him in, before speaking.
“What brought this on?” he asked.
“Nothing,” Nagisa lied. “I just thought of it today.” He could tell Rei about Florian some other time. Instead of speaking, he leaned in and placed another kiss on the corner of the teen's mouth.
Florian hummed as he took out the ingredients for his newest baking project. He wondered how Nagisa was doing. He hoped he was getting fucked. That would be best seeing as he was so in love. The blonde giggled as he thought about it. He would e-mail Nagisa when he got some time and ask him how it went.
“Benedict?” the blonde asked as he looked over his shoulder. “What sort of cupcakes would you like, strawberry with cream filling or chocolate with peanut butter filling?” After the cupcake he had eaten that day he felt like making cream filled cupcake. He was certain he could outdo that shop and Benedict praise would be his proof. He even brought a cupcake home from the shop so Benedict could compare the two.
But the raven haired man wasn't listening. Benedict was in bed with his shoes kicked off. He was leaning back, eyes open, staring at Edmund with an intense look of concentration on his face.
“Benedict?” Florian repeated and looked between the two. Something had happened between. It was obvious. “Benedict?”
“Hm?” Benedict said distractedly.
“While I was out today, did you and Edmund have sex or something?”
“Hm? I … What?!” Suddenly alert Benedict turned and looked at Florian who just smiled.
“I wondered if that would get your attention.”
“Why would you say that?” the raven haired man asked in a shout.
“Just because,” Florian said and glanced at Edmund who was red and glaring at him him from his desk. The android just smiled and went back to his baking. He would make strawberry and cream cupcakes and get Edmund and Benedict to tell him what happened while he was at it.